by Matt Wilkes

RC+ Preview: Disco, Reds look to bounce back vs. Cardinals

Fortunately, there’s very little time to dwell on ugly losses in baseball. The Reds (57-64), fresh off a 13-4 defeat on Friday night, are back at it against the Cardinals (64-56) tonight. The last time they were bludgeoned — a 17-7 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday — they bounced back with a win. Let’s hope they can do the same tonight and play spoiler to the Cards, who are back in sole possession of first place in the NL Central after last night’s win. The Reds will have their work cut out for them, though, as they’ll essentially be playing with a 21-man roster. Joey Votto and Jesse Winker are out again, Eugenio Suarez is out after leaving Friday’s game with a sprained thumb, and Amir Garrett is still suspended.

First pitch is a little earlier than usual (6:40 p.m. ET) as Great American Ball Park is hosting a post-game concert.

Pitching Matchup

Anthony DeSclafani will toe the rubber tonight. He’s in the midst of a rough stretch, having allowed 13 runs and five home runs in 14.1 innings over his last three outings. His fastball has been demolished for a .404 xwOBA in those three starts.

Meanwhile, his breaking pitches have become more hittable. DeSclafani has seen his whiff rate with the curveball drop dramatically.

Look for better command of those pitches tonight if DeSclafani is going to get back on track.

Miles Mikolas gets the start for the Cardinals. He has regressed in his second year in St. Louis. Mikolas has remained steady in his strikeout and walk rates, but his HR/FB has regressed to the mean. It sat at only 9.2% last season, well below league average. He’s made three starts against the Reds this year and allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in 16 innings.

Roster Move

Shorthanded in the bullpen, the Reds made another roster move today, calling up R.J. Alaniz from Triple-A and optioning Matt Bowman, who pitched 1.2 innings last night. Alaniz was a waiver claim from the Mariners in May and has a 2.93 ERA in Louisville. He has a 3.47 FIP and 4.95 xFIP, the discrepancy coming because he has had tremendous HR/FB luck (3.4%). Alaniz has a solid 25.4% strikeout rate and a shaky 9.0% walk rate.

Cardinals Lineup

No Yadier Molina or Paul DeJong for the Cardinals tonight.

Reds Lineup

Well, this isn’t a lineup anyone envisioned when the season began. Jesse Winker (back), Joey Votto (back), and Eugenio Suarez (thumb) are all out with injuries. It’s not currently known if any are available off the bench. If they’re not, that would leave Kyle Farmer as the only healthy bench player. Yikes.

Instead, the Reds are starting four position players with an xwOBA below .300. Expect them to score 15 runs tonight because baseball.

[Graphics: Baseball Savant]

Matt Wilkes got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

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1 year ago

Nice win for the RedLegs – Steve you go to the game? Some nice defensive plays made.

Steve Mancuso
1 year ago
Reply to  surrfinTexas

I had a ticket but didn’t go. Decided to stay and watch from home. Great defense by several players – Senzel, Ervin, Galvis, Iglesias. Great starting pitching, great relief pitching, hitting. Total team victory.

1 year ago

Excellent Matt. Thanks for the great posts.